Vivartia, Greece's largest food company, has seen increased financial costs hit earnings so far this year.

The company, which was bought by local investment fund Marfin Investment Group (MIG) this summer, said pre-tax profits fell almost 17% to EUR53.7m (US$79.1m) during the first nine months of the year.

Sales jumped 16.2% to EUR821.5m, although Vivartia said the inclusion of its bakery and confectionery businesses into the results had boosted the figures.

"It should be noted that the published results are not directly comparable to the corresponding period of 2006, which include only one month of activity of the bakery and confectionery division - former Chipita."

Vivartia was formed last year with the merger of dairy group Delta Holdings and snacks maker Chipita International.

MIG first bought a stake in Vivartia in July and snapped more shares throughout August to take control of the business.